Laurent Cantet’s ‘Firefox’ to Open Jeonju International Film Festival

Lee Hyo-won
Laurent Cantet’s ‘Firefox’ to Open Jeonju International Film Festival

SEOUL — The Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF), South Korea’s most established event for alternative movies, will open its 14th edition next month with Cannes Golden Palm-winner Foxfire, organizers told reporters Tuesday.

This year’s event, to run April 25 to May 3 in the North Jeolla Province city, will present 190 movies -- including 118 world premieres, which is 26 more than last year. In addition to the opener by Laurent Cantet, about young girls forming a gang, another film about daring young women, “Wadja,” by Saudi Arabian female director Haifaa Al Mansour, will close the festival.

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Internationally renowned cineastes are also due to visit JIFF. Kazakhstani filmmaker Darezhan Omirbayev; Don Fredricksen, professor of Cornell University; and Indian auteur Santosh Sivan, The Berlin File helmer Ryu Seung-wan; and local hearthrob Jung Woo-sung will judge films in the international competition section.

The competition for Korean movies will bring together as judges Cantet; Carlo Chatrian, director of the Locarno Film Festival; and Korean novelist Kim Young-ha.

This year’s festival includes several changes, as six main sections and 11 sub-sections will replace the event’s original 19 categories. It will also present more mainstream fare than it traditionally has in the past, including the recent Korean hits, “New World” and the star-studded “Paparotti.”

As onlookers voiced concerns about JIFF becoming too “mainstream-friendly,” festival director Ko Suk-man said, “Several sections of JIFF’s program were certainly eliminated but we also introduced a new corners to include more shorts and feature-length arthouse movies.”